Thinkalazcha Nishchayam Malayalam Movie Review
Senna Hegde's 'Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam' begins with what seems like a random conversation. We do not quite see the characters at a bus stop, but we hear them say things like 'thechittu poyi', which means to ditch someone. Soon, we realize that it was not a random conversation but rather one of the running themes in the movie. The film is about the events over a long weekend in a family where their younger daughter is getting engaged. As the patriarch of his family, Vijayan (Manoj KU) is not in a financially healthy situation and is unhappy with his elder daughter marrying a person of her preference.
Vijayan may be a Gulf returnee, but he does not have the finances to keep the family afloat in a marriage situation. His unhappiness for his first daughter Surabhi's marriage makes him desperate to marry off his younger daughter Suja to a Gulf Malayali. Suja is in love, and she tells it to her father, but the old man is unrelenting. So, it is only normal for her to have other plans. This is a situation that most Malayali families can relate to. The plight of many a Malayali girl would not be too dissimilar from that of Suja.
There is a terrific scene where a bald Gulf Malayali comes to see Suja as a potential bride. The visibly nervous man reads questions off a list that he has come with, whereas a disinterested Suja does her best to keep the charade going and scare the man away. But the man falls for her, and the families fix an engagement ceremony before the groom returns to the Middle East. This function takes place on a Monday as Suja has Chovva Dosham, a horoscope defect on Tuesday, hence the name 'Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam'.
At the heart of this dramedy is a conflict between an adamant father, who insists his elder daughter brought disgrace on the family, and a woman who fights for her choices. It is easy to make the audience sympathize with one or more characters in this kind of a film. But Hedge and his co-writer Sreeraj Raveendran craft a script that casts a non-judgmental gaze at their characters. This makes us view the characters as who they are, instead of siding with any of them, and lets us enjoy the movie. At the same time, the writers and the director mine comedic gold out of this material.
There are many hilarious scenes in the film that would not be too out of place even in a Sathyan Anthikad classic, like, say, Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu. But at the same time, there is enough dramatic heft here to make it very much a part of the so-called new wave Malayalam cinema. The actors are all newcomers but perform their roles like old-timers. Special mentions to Manoj and Ajisha Prabhakaran, who play their respective roles sensibly and with grace.
I did not have any major issues with the movie, but I feel the tonal shifts between drama and comedy could be more organic. It is not that the tonality shifts are jarring, but those could be better. On paper, this might seem like a generic film, but the end product is close to being perfect. So, do fix a date for this delightful medley of drama and comedy.